Chinese Medical Mancy: Medicine, Astrology, and Arts of Memory in Early 17th-century China & Korea

EHESS - Salle 638-640  -  190-198, avenue de France  -  75013 Paris
Dans le cadre de l'axe de recherche « Techniques, Objets, Patrimoines » de l'UMR 8173 Chine, Corée, Japon, Marta Hanson (Johns Hopkins University, Seoul National University) donnera une conférence le 18 novembre 2013 à 14h (salle 638-640) intitulée "Chinese Medical Mancy: Medicine, Astrology, and Arts of Memory in Early 17th-century China & Korea".


What knowledge in Ming China was considered important enough for ordinary people to memorize, how did they memorize it, and where was such memorized knowledge valorised, performed, and used? The Chinese phenomenon of hand mnemonics” (zhangjue 掌訣) works as a heuristic device to enter both the mind of the people who likely used them and the social world in which the knowledge summarized on the hand was valued enough to memorize. Medical prognosis and fate prediction were two of the most important arenas of knowledge in which memorization was not only highly valued but also pragmatic in daily life. After the fifteenth-century publishing boon, these bodily arts of memory bridged esoteric and vernacular domains of knowledge, particularly in the realms of astrological prediction and medical prognostication. Hand mnemonics in Ming almanacs and medical texts illustrate not only comparable techniques to memorize medical and mantic numerology but also important connections between medicine and astrology in late imperial China.

In this talk, I will first present an overview of hand mnemonics in Chinese medicine and astrology and then focus on examples of arts of memory  – visualization, versification, enumeration, and corporealization – and connections between medical & astrological-numerological practices in both Heo Jun’s Treasured Mirror of Eastern Medicine (Dongyi baojian 東醫寶鑑 1613) in Chosen Korea and Zhang Jiebin’s Illustrated Supplement to the Classified Canon (Leijing tuyi類經圖翼1624) in Ming China.
  • le lundi 18 novembre 2013 à 14h
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